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Health Department

Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention Home

Skin Cancer
Physical Activity and Nutrition

Cancer Prevention Program
2001 South State Street
Suite S-2400
PO Box 144575
SLC, UT 84104-4757
(385) 468-4081


Skin Cancer

Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet radiation is emitted from two sources: the sun and artificial lamps. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause damage to the skin cells, which leads to the mutation and replication of damaged skin cells, causing skin cancer.

Did You Know? 

  • Utah has the highest incidence rate of new melanoma cases among all 50 states.
    (National Cancer Institute)
  • Almost 23% of Utah females in grades 10 to 12 used a tanning device one or more times in the past 12 months. (Utah Department of Health)

UV rays

Skin Cancer Risk Factors

  • Tanning bed use: ”People who first use a tanning bed before age 35  increase their risk for melanoma by 75%” (Skin Cancer Foundation, 2013).
  • Family history: Does anyone in your family currently have, or has previously had, skin cancer?
  • Light or fair skin type: Moles and freckles are a risk factor, too. Be sure to get these looked at by a doctor.
  • Intensity of sun: The intensity of the sun is affected by the time of day; 10am—2pm is when the sun is the most severe.
  • High altitude
  • Time spent in the sun

5 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun

  1. Sunscreen: Remember, sunscreen should be SPF 15 or higher forSPF sun effectiveness. Apply sunscreen to dry skin and wait 30 minutes before going outside or swimming. Apply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  2. Wear a hat: Wide-brimmed hats, like sun hats, provide the best protection.
  3. Wear sunglasses: Make sure to look for a UV sticker when you buy them.
  4. Cover up: Wear pants and a long-sleeved shirt. If you choose to wear shorts or a sleeveless/short-sleeve shirt, be sure to apply sunscreen on your arms and legs!
  5. Seek shade: Look for a tree or carry an umbrella when you are out and about.

Upcoming Events




Salt Lake County was able to collect 365 items for the Sun Safety Drive! Thank you to all who participated and donated to the drive. We would also like to thank the Salt Lake County Library System, the Utah Cancer Action Network, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and the 4th Street Clinic for their partnership during the event!

Stay Tuned for upcoming events! 

Sun Safety Drive